FWGNA > Species Accounts > Pleuroceridae > Pleurocera laqueata alveare
Pleurocera laqueata alveare (Conrad 1854)
Pleurocera alveare

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> Habitat & Distribution

The range of P. alveare (in its old sense) was given by Goodrich (1940) as extending from the Green, Wabash, and lower Ohio Rivers through the Cumberland River to the main Tennessee River as far upstream as Muscle Shoals, as well as "streams of North Arkansas and Southern Missouri."  Populations seem restricted to larger rivers, reaching maximum abundance on solid substrates.

It is perhaps this latter requirement that is responsible for the apparent rarity of populations we identify as P. laqueata alveare in the muddy and impounded Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers today.  Our modern database includes just a few records from the lower Green River and the middle Cumberland drainages, with a single record in the Paint Rock River of North Alabama.  Combining both the typical P. laqueata laqueata and the subspecies alveare together for analysis, their FWGNA incidence rank is I-5

> Ecology & Life History

Grazing by populations of pleurocerids can have a significant effect on energy flow in small streams (Dillon 2000: 86 - 91, see also Dillon & Davis 1991).

Like other pleurocerids, P. laqueata is dioecious, eggs being deposited on hard substrates from spring to mid-summer.  Eggs are spirally arranged in masses of 2-15 or more, with a tough, membranous outer covering to which sand grains typically adhere (Smith 1980, Jokinen 1992). Although we are unaware of any study specifically directed toward the life history of P. laqueata, it seems reasonable to expect that two years will be required for maturity, and that several years of iteroparous reproduction can be expected thereafter, as is the case for pleurocerids generally (Dazo 1965). This is life cycle Hi of Dillon (2000: 156 - 162).

> Taxonomy & Systematics

Pleurocera laqueata is is another North American pleurocerid species demonstrating protean variability in shell morphology, named and re-named dozens of times in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  It also seems quite likely to us that P. laqueata may hybridize with P. troostiana, yielding a wealth of shell variants identified under that specific nomen as well. Goodrich (1940) recognized ten valid species and six valid subspecies in his “group of Goniobasis laqueata,” along with no fewer than 55 synonyms, plus another nine synonyms in his group of Pleurocera alveare.

More recently it has become clear that the distinction Goodrich and all previous authorities made between the former genera Pleurocera and Goniobasis (or "Elimia") is due to cryptic phenotypic plasticity (Dillon 2011, 2014; Dillon et al. 2013).  This has led to the realization that populations previously identified as "Pleurocera alveare" are likely downstream ecophenotypic morphs of P. laqueata.  See my essays of 23Mar11 and 8Aug18 from the links below for more.

> Maps and Supplementary Resources

  • Cryptic phenotypic plasticity in P. laqueata. (A) Historic specimen of P. laqueata alveare from Kentucky.  (B) P. laqueata alveare from Dale Hollow Lake, TN.  (C) P. laqueata laqueata from the Duck River, TN.  (D) P. laqueata laqueata from the Nolin River, KY.
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> Essays

> References

Dazo, B. C.  (1965) The morphology and natural history of Pleurocera acuta and Goniobasis livescens (Gastropoda: Cerithiacea: Pleuroceridae). Malacologia 3: 1 - 80. 
Dillon, R. T., Jr. (2000)  The Ecology of Freshwater Molluscs. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.  509 pp. 
Dillon, R. T., Jr. (2011)  Robust shell phenotype is a local response to stream size in the genus Pleurocera.  Malacologia 53: 265-277.  [pdf]
Dillon, R. T., Jr.  (2014) Cryptic phenotypic plasticity in populations of the North American freshwater gastropod, Pleurocera semicarinata.  Zoological Studies 53:31. [html] [pdf]
Dillon, R. T. Jr., & K. B. Davis (1991)  The diatoms ingested by freshwater snails: temporal, spatial, and interspecific variation. Hydrobiologia 210: 233-242. 
Dillon, R. T., Jr., S. J. Jacquemin & M. Pyron (2013) Cryptic phenotypic plasticity in populations of the freshwater prosobranch snail, Pleurocera canaliculata.  Hydrobiologia 709: 117-127. [html] [pdf]
Goodrich, C. (1940) The Pleuroceridae of the Ohio River drainage system.  Occas. Pprs. Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich., 417: 1-21.
Jokinen, E.H. (1992) The freshwater snails of New York State. New York State Museum Biological Survey, New York State Museum Bulletin 482.
Smith, D.G.  (1980) Goniobasis virginica (Gastropoda: Pleuroceridae) in the Connecticut River USA. Nautilus 94:50-54.